Left for dead…

Read the previous part here…

One day, this son of Devasvāmin entered a gambling den, to fulfill his desire to gamble. The tumbling dice of the hall seemed to be continuously scouting the scene with their rolling black eyes, and saying to themselves…

“Who shall we catch today?”

And the loud noises of the fights of the gamblers, seemed to all say…

“Whose wealth could we not take away yet? We could impoverish even Kuvera, the ruler of Alakā.”

Illustration by the renowned Karatholuvu Chandrasekaran Shivashankaran

तां प्रविश्य क्रमाद् दीव्यन्न् अक्षैः स कितवैः सह ।
वस्त्रादि हारयित्वापि धनम् अन्यद् अहारयत् ॥ १२,२५.१८ ॥

मृग्यमाणं च यन् नादात् स तद् धनम् असंभवि ।
तद् अवष्टभ्य सभ्येन लगुडैः पर्यताड्यत ॥ १२,२५.१९ ॥

लगुडाहतसर्वाङ्गः पाषाणम् इव निश्चलम् ।
कृत्वा मृतम् इवात्मानं तस्थौ विप्रसुतो ऽथ सः ॥ १२,२५.२० ॥

तथैव दिवसान् द्वित्रांस् तत्र तस्मिन्न् अवस्थिते ।
क्रुद्धः स सभ्यष् ठिण्ठायां कितवान् स्वान् अभाषत ॥ १२,२५.२१ ॥

श्रितानेनाश्मता तावत् तद् एतं क्षिपत क्वचित् ।
नीत्वान्धकूपे निःसत्त्वं धनं दास्याम्य् अहं तु वः ॥ १२,२५.२२ ॥

इत्य् उक्तास् तेन कितवास् तं चन्द्रस्वामिनं ततः ।
अरण्यं निन्युर् उत्क्षिप्य दूरं कूपगवेषिणः ॥ १२,२५.२३ ॥

He then entered the den, and played many games of dice. Well, what is there to say – he lost everything, including his clothes, and so he borrowed money to play more, and lost that as well.

Now, when he was called upon to pay that large sum of money, he was unable to do so.

Furious, the owner of the gambling den caught hold of him and beat him mercilessly. The wounded Candrasvāmin fell the floor, unable to bear the beating, and pretended to be lifeless.

Two days passed. Candrasvāmin had not moved an inch. The owner then called his regular customers and said…

“This man is dead, and will begin to decay. Take this wretch and throw him in some well far away from here. I will then return all the money he owed to you.”

The gamblers then picked up Candrasvāmin, and carried him to a distant forrest, and once there, started to look for a well. When they couldn’t find one for a while, one of the older gamblers said to the others…

तत्रैको वृद्धकितवस् तान् अन्यान् एवम् अभ्यधात् ।
मृतो ऽयं प्रायशस् तत् किं कूपे क्षिप्तेन नो ऽमुना ॥ १२,२५.२४ ॥

तद् इहैवैनम् उज्झित्वा वक्ष्यामः कूप उज्झितम् ।
इति ते तद्वचः सर्वे तथेति प्रतिपेदिरे ॥ १२,२५.२५ ॥

ततस् त्यक्त्वा गतेष्व् एषु कितवेषु स उत्थितः ।
चन्द्रस्वामी विवेशात्र शून्यम् एकं शिवालयम् ॥ १२,२५.२६ ॥

तत्र किंचित् समाश्वस्य चिन्तयामास दुःखितः ।
विश्वस्तो मायया कष्टं मुषितः कितवैर् अहम् ॥ १२,२५.२७ ॥

तद् ईदृशः क्व गच्छामि नाग्नोपहतपांशुलः ।
पिता बन्धुः सुहृद् वापि दृष्ट्वा किं हि वदेन् मम ॥ १२,२५.२८ ॥

तत् संप्रति स्थितो ऽस्मीह नक्तं च क्षुत्प्रशान्तये ।
पश्यामि निर्गत्य कथं यतिष्ये भोजनं प्रति ॥ १२,२५.२९ ॥

इत्य् आलोचयतस् तस्य क्लान्तस्यानम्बरस्य च ।
मन्दीकृतातपो ऽस्ताद्रिं रविस् त्यक्ताम्बरो ययौ ॥ १२,२५.३० ॥

“This man is dead anyway, Then what good can come of throwing him into a well?Let us leave him here, and say that we left him inside a well…”

The others approved, and so left Candrasvāmin there in the forest, and went back.

When he was sure that they had left, Candrasvāmin stood up meekly, and walked towards an empty Śiva Temple not too far away from the spot. There, he rested, and reflected on his situation.

“Oh, what have I done…I was over-confident and as a result, got robbed by those gamblers, who cheated me out of my money and belongings.”

“Now where can I go in this pitiable condition, all beaten up, naked and covered in dust and grime? What would my father and my relatives and friends say of me, if they saw me this way?”

“So it is better that I stay here awhile, and wait for the sun to set, so that I can go in search of some food to satisfy my hunger…”

As he was thinking this way, someone came along and…

to be continued…